A Georgia man pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of aggravated domestic assault and cruelty to a child for allegedly fracturing his 5-week-old son's skull, likely causing permanent injuries, prosecutors said
Matthew Richard, 25, was jailed lacking $50,000 bail.
According to court papers, a Fletcher Allen Health Care doctor told investigators May 11 Richards' son, also named Matthew Richard, born April 3
, had four skull fractures and broken ribs that had started to heal. The doctor said in her opinion the injuries were the result of severe child abuse.
Police interviewed Richard, who said he fell down a flight of stairs May 9 at his home while holding his son. The son bumped his head during the fall, Richard said, according to court papers.
Richard's wife, Christy
, said her husband came to the room where she'd been sleeping at 9:30 a.m. that day and said he'd just fallen down the stairs and injured the couple's son.
Christy Richard said she called her family physician, who advised them to head straight to the hospital emergency room, which they did, according to court papers.
In a subsequent interview with police, Matthew Richard admitted he had become frustrated with the baby that morning, squeezed the child's chest and threw him down onto a coffee table
, according to court papers.
Police said doctors at Fletcher Allen told them the baby might have serious long-term neurological problems, including seizures. The doctors said the infant already is suffering seizures as a result of the alleged abuse